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Workplace injury management strategies

What is injury management?

‘Injury management’ aims to minimise the level of impairment that an injury causes a person. It is a process which promotes sustainable employment for workers who have experienced an injury.

The two main goals of injury management include:

  1. Facilitating ongoing employment opportunities for a worker to reduce time away from the workplace; and
  2. Controlling workers’ compensation and injury costs for an employer.

Effective injury management programs can assist workers to overcome challenges that prevent them from being able to return to their workplace and perform their normal job.

Implementing an injury management program within a workplace helps create a strong return to work culture. These programs demonstrate to workers that the organisation is committed to assisting them if they do ever experience an injury. It shows that they are a valued member of the team and providing opportunities to remain employed is a key priority.

Developing an injury management program

Injury management programs can vary depending on the size of the employer, the amount of employees and the rate of injuries within a particular workplace.

Regardless of the size of an employer, the injury management principles remain exactly the same.

A good way to ensure that workers are supported in a consistent and supportive way is to document the procedures in place for a workplace.

Documented injury management procedures allow all staff to understand the process should they experience an injury. They also provide clear guidance to any of the worker’s colleagues who are responsible for managing their safe and successful return to work.

Best practice is the highest standard that stakeholders should aim to achieve in order to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for a worker.

The following strategies have been identified as best practice and should be incorporated into a documented injury management program:

What to include

The benefit


  • Measurable goal of what the program aims to achieve
  • Allows the workplace to work towards achieving identified goal

Compensation process

  • Step-by-step guidance on the process
  • What benefits are available to the worker during the claim application process

Contact with the worker

  • Defines who is responsible for managing communication with the worker
  • Demonstrates that the employer cares for the health and wellbeing of the worker
  • Provides immediate support to the worker
  • Allows the employer to explain return to work process as soon as possible to the worker
  • Provides opportunity for the worker to be involved in their return to work planning from the outset

Contacts and communication

  • Ensures everyone has access to contact details when needed
  • Promotes open communication
  • Outlines how communication is managed by each stakeholder
  • Clarifies what information will be communicated to a worker during the process


  • Clarifies roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders
  • Prevents misunderstanding of what actions need to be managed by each stakeholder

Related prevention and health promotion programs

  • Outlines the process for working with other programs to minimise the chance of a future injury
  • Supports reflection on the incident and identifies solutions to any existing risks or hazards
  • Promotes collaboration to intervene early
  • Encourages a strong prevention culture to protect workers

Staff awareness

  • Explains how the program will be promoted within the organisation
  • Provides methods for ensuring staff can easily access the program when required

Conflicts or disputes

  • Explains how these will be managed
  • Clarifies the rights of stakeholders to communicate grievances about the process
Last updated
14 June 2019

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